The fine folks over at Fame Retail hold an annual open house for industry friends and clients, building the theme around the booze and munchies they plan on serving each year (you may remember these bingo cards and these fair themed beauties). This year, with a nod to 1920’s prohibition, their team created a speakeasy theme across a set of cards that included mustachioed gents, pin-curled ladies, icons of delicate linework, and plenty of liquor lingo.
The card set was comprised of two stocks, Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 110C and Wausau Royal Compelments Eclipse Black 100c. The white cards were letterpress printed with a blind (inkless) impression before we ran them through the press for a pass of black ink. Silver ink and a tonal letterpress varnish were used on the black cards.
To top it all off, these invites just won PaperSpecs Gallery’s Take Note Award. Be sure to check out the nice video posted on the PaperSpecs blog.
Based out of San Francisco, Passing Notes designed this beautiful stationery system for Muhs Home, an online store retailing elegant home furnishings and accessories. Refined typography utilized two inks alongside chic illustrations. Since the illustrations were printed with no ink, what is referred to as a blind impression, we used a thick Crane Lettra Flo White 220 lb cover stock, allowing us to really go deep with the impression while reducing show through.
Other projects we have produced for Passing Notes include this Aphro Chic system and Patti Schmidt business card.
This suite, designed for Lindsay and Ben by their good friend Nicolas Carbonaro, is a great example of how to utilize overprinting inks. Since letterpress inks are not opaque, with the exception of metallics, a third color is created wherever two colors overlap–and in this instance, creating a great visual metaphor for love.
Another thing to note is the heavy ink coverage throughout the suite, so we required acknowledgment of our solid areas disclaimer before we proceeded into production. Printed with two inks, along with a blind pass, on Mohwak Loop Ivory Smooth 160c, the cards were duplexed after printing to create a hefty 320c stock.
Oh So Beautiful Paper also featured these, be sure to pop over to check out some additional pictures of the complete suite.
Designed for the ARTCRANK MSP 2012 show, our newest poster is an ode to all the radial objects in our life. With a bicycle wheel at the hub of the design, a hindu goddess, a space station and even a nipple made it on to the final print (not to be confused with the aureole that also appears, but we digress).
These were printed on one of our six Heidelberg cylinder presses (insert bragging here) on Crane Lettra Flo White 110c stock with one ink. Every print also got a blind hit of our studio seal, which required a second inkless run through the press.
Yes, you can buy one in our store.
Today’s post is brought to you by the color pink! Rubine Red, to be exact. Created by the fellas over at Duct Tape and Glitter, these cards used almost every production process we offer, printing with three ink colors (one of them a flood) along with a blind impression, custom duplexing after printing and finished with a swipe of edge coloring.
Despite the multiple processes these went through, we were able to keep an eye on the cost by printing the fronts and backs up on the same presssheet. By setting up the sheet this way colors that were common to both sides (like the Rubine Red) only had to be setup on press once, rather than once for the front and then again for the back.
After printing we duplexed the presssheet back to itself which created a hefty 220lb sheet and also allowed us to conceal any impression show through (impression area from the front the shows on the back of the sheet) in the middle of the card.
This coffee label packaging was designed locally by Holmberg Design. Dogwood Coffee Company is a small coffee roaster based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota (and generously present at our last studio party.) They source, roast and serve some truly amazing coffees. And what is especially unique to the experience of Dogwood Coffee is the single cup brewing. Visit them and always expect a well crafted, fully realized flavor. And be sure to take beans home in one of these delicious bags. This is the good stuff, these guys love crafting coffee as much as we love letterpress.
We printed these with two colors – a red and a very light gray /nearly blind ink for the diamond texture. They are printed on our house label stock which is Strathmore Writing, Ultimate White Wove. This label takes a stiff impression and has a bit of tooth and texture that adds to the artisanal quality of letterpress. They are kisscut two up on an 8.5 x 11 sheet. They are cleverly designed to be end user friendly with use of simple rubber stamp imprints specific to the roasted microlots. Overprinting the stamp on the letterpress imprint gives the surface another layer of texture.
Also see the “Reserve” coffee labels we printed previously (when Dogwood was still a part of Bull Run Roasting) also created by Holmberg Design.
These cards designed by Villainy and Associates really make you stop and turn the thing over in your hand. The understated typographic design gives the letterpress production value emphasis. It’s simple and pseudo executive – flashy without being too flashy.
We printed letterpress metallic gold for the information and letterpress varnish on the logotype. We like using a varnish on dark stocks for a tone on tone effect. That gives a slightly better legibility than a totally blind, inkless impression. The stock is a thick 200lb Wausau Eclipse Black with metallic gold edge coloring.
This stunning letterpress business card was designed by 485 inc. for an arts group called Artistaday. And as the name would imply, Artistaday is a website that has a daily fine artist featured. Great stuff too, make sure and check them out here.
The typographic design is nice and bold, making the blind (inkless) impression really stand out. These business cards do something that does take an extra production step – heavy impression on both sides that lines up from side to side. To get this blind type to look really look good and provide enough sculptural to keep it readable without ink, it needed to be printed as a single sheet, then pasted back to back after printing so the impression on one side wouldn’t flatten the impression on other. The cards were printed on 110lbC Crane Lettra, then glued together for the final 220lb thickness.
These business cards are elegant and simple with an unusual format. Although the feel of the design is traditional, the 4.25 x 1.25 inch size presents as an untraditional business card size. The client, William and Mary, makes premium gift wrap collections, so the paper crafting of the printing was very important.
These cards were letterpress printed with 2 ink colors on each side. The cards also have a heavy blind letterpress impression graphic on both sides. This blind area overlaps type on the reverse side. To get an even type appearance and a heavy sculptural impression on both sides we printed a 110lb sheet of Crane Lettra Fluorescent White and pasted it together back to back after printing. By duplexing the stock to a thick 220lb weight after printing the impression show through is eliminated. It is a time consuming and more premium production step, worth it for the final look of these cards. The final step was a round corner die cut.
Letterpress seems pretty far removed from the slickness of the iphone. Yet even the most technically focused business can benefit from the tactility of letterpress business cards. In fact, we would argue that they are the perfect counterpoint. Marko Karppinen & Co is a software developer in Finland specializing in iphone and ipad applications. We designed and printed this card for their ten person company.
The back of the card is printed with a heavy blind (inkless) letterpress impression. The front side is printed with gray ink plus accent yellow bars. A key production step to virtually eliminate show through and have heavy impression on both sides was to print two separate sheets and paste them together after printing. For this step we use Potdevin pasting and rotary presses. The pasting machine applies glue to the back of a sheet. That sheet is then paired with the sheet for the reverse side of the business card and run through the rotary press to firmly squeeze them together and eliminate any air bubbles. The stock is 110lb Neenah Classic Crest Solar White custom duplexed to a thick 220lb weight. Special finishing is a yellow edge color. A well crafted card indeed.
These cards, designed by Jacob Ward have a heavy blind (inkless) letterpress impression on one side and black ink on the other. A blind hit needs a substantial amount of impression since it is relying only on the change in paper surface without any ink color to define the graphic. The large type size really pops on this card. If you have a good monitor and click through the pics below, you can see that even on a 220lb cotton stock there can be small amount of impression show through on the reverse side.
Sublimio is a multidisciplinary design studio in Italy. They designed these cards for an engaging visual and tactile design experience.
We printed a larger message card and business cards. The message card is very subtle with a blind impression only on 110lb Crane Lettra stock. The business cards use blind impression on one side and black on the other, completed with black edge coloring. They are on 220lb Crane Lettra.
“Show Through” is a term we use to describe heavy impression from printing one side of the paper bruising the sheet and showing small distortions on the reverse side. Show through is an important consideration when a design will be letterpress printed. The double thick 220 lb Lettra is great for a project that is a two sided design because it offers virtually no show through. Note that “virtually” is a key word here. If a heavy impression is desired, there will be some show through. Generally the thicker the paper, the more minimal the show through. But even with a thick stock, impression can knock back the impression from a previously printed side affecting its appearance. In the case of this business card we printed the flood of blind pattern first with heavier impression, then the black text side of the card with a bit less impression. Balancing this impression on a two sided design depends on the nature of artwork being printed. Talk with us early in the design process to work through these production decisions.